1. Let’s get this Friday Five off to a kickin’ start. This is the peanut butter chocolate cupcake from Crumbs Bakery. It is heaven on earth. I cut it in half to show you the delectable peanut butter filling. And to pretend that I didn’t just eat an entire cupcake that is the size of a CD. (Psst. I did.)
2. On to more exciting news. (Well, the cupcake was pretty exciting for me, but here’s news that you can participate in!)
My first collection of essays was published this week as an Amazon Kindle Single. The Subway Chronicles: More Scenes from Life in New York is chock full of 23 short essays by yours truly.
Here’s what they had to say (pretty neat, huh?):
Jacquelin Cangro is back with more essays from underground New York. In this follow up to The Subway Chronicles: Scenes from Life in New York, all of the tales are her own. From run-ins with subway preachers and the Chinese Curses Lady to Pickles the dachshund to the man whose girlfriend bit his ear off, she documents the hilarious, poignant, and thought-provoking adventure that is the New York City subway. Her original voice chronicles the highs and lows of discovering who you are while living in an indomitable city with a character all its own. Together these essays create a fresh and real portrait of one woman’s attempt to find her own New York.
Best of all, you can get my pearls of subway wisdom for only $.99. That’s cheaper than your morning coffee. For those of you who are Amazon Prime members, it’s FREE! What’s better than free? Not much, my friend. If you’re in the UK, France, Italy, Germany or Spain, it’s already available on your country’s Amazon. Don’t have a Kindle? You can download the Kindle app (also free!) on your PC, Mac or smartphone. (I did it and it just takes a few moments, promise.) It will be coming out on other platforms later this summer, not to worry Nook-lovers.
If you do get the Kindle Single, I would be so grateful if you left a review on the Amazon page. Then I can move up the Amazon list and take over the world (insert maniacal laugh here.) I hope you like it!
3. The Big Think. I’ve written about the folks at Soul Pancake before, but I just came across this terrific video they did a few months ago. Here, on the streets of LA, they set up a giant board of sticky notes and invited people to contribute to a billboard of meaningful words. Check out the short clip. I think my message would be a reminder from my old pal Henry David Thoreau, “Live Deliberately.”
What message would you write? It would be so inspiring if we got our own mini-billboard of meaningful words going right here.
4. When I was in grad school, I remember one of my professors said that the test of a good story is its ability to satisfy. The goal is to leave the reader feeling nicely full like after Thanksgiving dinner and patting his or her belly, thinking about that last piece of pumpkin pie. But as I started to write more, I realized there were sometimes when “satisfying the reader” meant doing a disservice to my characters. My obligation is to be true to the characters and tell their story to the best of my ability, and sometimes that is at odds with what the reader may want. Over the years, I’d never really found anyone who agreed – saleability being the primary concern of most agents and editors – until now. Finally, I’ve got author Barbara Brown Taylor (and by extension Annie Dillard) in my corner.
Until then, I thought the best books were those that completely satisfied. Like good hosts, they invited me in, supplied all my needs while I was with them, and when we were done they let me go without too much talking at the door.
After Pilgrim at Tinker Creek [Annie Dillard's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel], I decided the best books are those that refuse to satisfy. They don’t want to meet my needs; they don’t even care if I am happy with them. What they want is to enlarge my world, even if that means sending me away hungry for my own encounter with what they have brought to life.
5. Is it a frog or a Reggie? Reggie often lays like this with all of his limbs splayed out like a frog.
Then when I talk to him, his tail swishes back and forth like a clock. like this. It’s good for sweeping the floor.
Hope your tail wags a bit this weekend! Have a great one!